A Billion Internet Passwords Stolen

By NBCNews.com

Published 08/07 2014 02:50PM

Updated 08/07 2014 02:51PM

It's time to change your passwords again. All of them.

A Russian crime ring has stolen a staggering amount of confidential information: 1.2 billion username and password combos and more than 500 million email addresses from some 420,000 websites, according to a report in The New York Times. Hold Security in Milwaukee first discovered the breach, warning site visitors in a post Tuesday titled, "You have been hacked!"

"The magnitude of this is almost unimaginable," said Adam Levin, chief executive of Identity Theft 911. Given a global population of a little more than 7 billion, he said, "you've got a pretty good shot that you're on the list."

Hold Security has yet to name companies affected, and did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But security experts say the breach could have a domino impact. "The truth of the matter is, consumers still practice incredibly poor password policies," said Adam Tyler, chief innovation officer for fraud detection firm CSID.

Read more from NBC News.

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